The first step in this puzzle is to recognise that all the letters in each area correspond to either an element (of the periodic table) or an elementary particle (of the Standard Model). Now the title suggests that there are anomalies or rulebreakers among our collection, so before we can figure out which they are, we must also figure out what rule is meant to be satisfied in each of the eight areas. The rules are as follows:
Note that the upper case T represented the lepton Tau.
Taking the first letter of each column gives us the message "SPOT GMAN". This is referencing the mysterious "GMAN" of the Half-Life Series, who occasionally appears at different points throughout the game. (Note that the title "Anomalous Materials" is the name of one of the early chapters in the original Half-Life game, suggesting we should investigate this game rather than the others.)
In fact, the 8 areas in our puzzle actually correspond to the 8 areas in which the GMAN is spotted throughout the game (excluding the final cutscene). A comprehensive list of the sightings can be found here. In fact if using this wiki page as reference, it can be noted that the anomalous material in each map lies closest to wherever the picture of Gman is taken from in each picture on the wiki. Marking these Gman spots on our maps, and joining them together in the order in which he appears, gives us the following figure.
So we have found a rather obscure way of drawing a "3" in our puzzle, and this should hint at the internet meme "Half-Life 3 Confirmed", where convoluted representations of the number three are used to confirm the release of the game.
Also note that taking the first letter of each Element/Particle the GMAN is standing on also gives us the message VERIFIED, which further confirms that our answer should solely be the word "confirmed" rather than the entire phrase.
|The answer is: confirmed|